The Latest: China's Hebei toughens virus rules over outbreak

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A man wearing a face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walks past a display of lanterns at a public park in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. China has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a coronavirus high danger zone after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING — China’s Hebei province is enforcing stricter control measures following a further rise in coronavirus cases in the province, which is adjacent to the capital Beijing and is due to host events for next year’s Winter Olympics.

The National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 20 more cases had been detected in Hebei, bringing the province’s total to 39 since Sunday.

The province’s top official said Tuesday that residents of areas classified as medium or high risk, primarily neighborhoods in the cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai, were being tested and barred from going out.

People in neighborhoods ranked as medium risk can leave only if they show a negative virus test. Classes are shifting to online learning and school dormitories placed on lockdown.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

Seniors citizens in Florida camped overnight in vehicles to get in line for vaccinations in Daytona Beach. Distribution hiccups and logistical challenges have slowed the initial coronavirus vaccine rollout in California. The vaccination drive enters new phase in U.S. as some start receiving final dose.

England is facing its third lockdown, while other countries are taking steps against the coronavirus and vaccinating citizens. Germany extended its national lockdown as coronavirus deaths mount. Meanwhile, Wall Street wobbles after its sharp slide to start 2021.